ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 affirmed dismissal 48 Fixodent denture cream lawsuits after a federal judge excluded the plaintiffs' expert causation expert witnesses (Beverly Jones, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham, et al., No 15-12340, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. 10833).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 16 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that dismissed an insured's breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation claims against its federal flood insurer over its alleged personal property damage caused by Hurricane Irene (Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, et al., No. 15-2923, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10894).
PITTSBURGH - Because the materials sought via discovery from certain reporters by a defamation suit plaintiff do not pertain to confidential sources, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on June 15 held that its disclosure would not violate the journalist's privilege under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Dominick D. DiPaolo v. Times Publishing Co., et al., No. 1713 WDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 323).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Supreme Court on June 16 denied interlocutory review of an order that former plaintiff attorney Stanley M. Chesley contribute to a $42 million judgment to fen-phen plaintiffs, saying the lower court's order in the matter was not an injunction subject to interlocutory appeal (Stanley M. Chesley v. Mildred Abbott, et al., No. 2015-SC-000599, Ky. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Under California law, a plaintiff may not pursue asbestos claims involving replacement gaskets and packing, but the man submitted sufficient evidence of exposure to at least some original or spare parts to pursue those claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held in partially reversing summary judgment June 16 (John H. Boyd III v. Warren Pumps LLC, No. 13-56975, John H. Boyd III v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., sued individually and as successor-in-interest to Buffalo Pumps Inc., No. 14-57018, 9th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - In what is being called a record recovery for shareholders, HSBC Finance Corp. has agreed to pay more than $1.5 billion to settle claims that its predecessor-in-interest, Household International Inc., and certain of its executive officers and directors issued a series of misrepresentations concealing Household's involvement in a predatory lending scheme in violation of federal securities laws, according to a press release issued by shareholder counsel June 16 (Lawrence E. Jaffe Pension Plan v. Household International, Inc., et al., No. 02-5893, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - Without providing further detail, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 agreed to hear an appeal of a ruling in a securities class action lawsuit filed in New York federal court that partially dismissed claims against a Brazilian oil company, its outside auditor and others (In re Petrobas Securities Litigation, No. 14-9662, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76844).
MINNEAPOLIS - The federal judge overseeing the National Hockey League (NHL) concussion multidistrict litigation on June 14 signed a stipulated order between former players and nonparty league teams over the production of medical documents (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 15 rejected Crane Co.' argument that settlements left it with zero liability for an asbestos verdict, saying precedent permits offsets only for settling parties found liable at trial and that the offsets cannot reduce a verdict below the amount awarded by a jury (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).
SEATTLE - A woman's complete lack of contacts with a state warrants transfer of her take-home asbestos action, and because removal and, thus, venue were proper, the court has jurisdiction to grant her motion, a federal judge in Washington held June 14 (Sarah Griffin v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 16-584, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77478).
CHICAGO - In a June 15 reply brief supporting its bid to dismiss a class action over a 2015 website hack, a digital smart toys maker tells an Illinois federal court that the plaintiffs have failed to plead any harm in the wake of the theft of their personally identifiable information (PII) (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).
PHOENIX - A former collegiate district employee who claims that he was terminated in part due to reporting data security lapses that led to a network breach may bring his contractual wrongful termination claim against his former employer, an Arizona federal magistrate judge ruled June 14, while directing the plaintiff to file a more definite statement of that claim (Miguel Corzo v. Maricopa County Community College District, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02552, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77243).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a June 15 petition, Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC (Facebook, collectively) seek covered business method (CBM) review of a patent that claims a method of delivering digital content to a wireless device and the ability to track user selections in order to facilitate the payment of royalties (Facebook Inc., et al. v. Skyy LLC, No. CBM2016-00091, PTAB).
MIAMI - A Florida appellate panel on June 15 overturned a judgment awarded to a couple following a nonjury trial, finding that their failure to inform their insurance company that their home did not have a central monitoring system for smoke, temperature and burglary was a material misrepresentation (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London v. Raul Jimenez, et al., No. 3D15-54, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 9231).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on June 15 dismissed an insured's third-party claims in an environmental contamination coverage dispute against a claims management company because the insured failed to allege any plausible claims against the company (Valley Forge Insurance Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal Inc., et al., No. 14-006, N.D. Ind.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 15 denied hotel franchisors' motion to dismiss a second amended complaint alleging that they subjected African-American employees to racially discriminatory and harassing treatment (Gwendolyn Miller, et al. v. Stickbay Inc., et al., No. 8:15-cv-2040, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77925).
WAUSAU, Wis. - A Wisconsin appellate court panel on June 14 upheld a trial court judge's ruling awarding summary judgment to the owner of a duplex accused of failing to maintain a deck that collapsed, finding that the plaintiff's claim was barred by the state's 10-year statute of repose because the deck was defectively built in the 1980s (Andrew Heintz v. Paul Hanson, et al., No. 2015AP1790, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2015 Wisc. App. LEXIS 357).
TACOMA, Wash. - A Washington appellate panel on June 14 affirmed a trial court's grant of summary judgment to a county in a dog bite case but reversed the court's summary judgment dismissal of claims against the owner of the property where the incident occurred, noting that "the scope of a landlord's duties in a dog bite case under premises liability is a question of first impression in Washington" (Steven J. Oliver v. Henry W. Cook, et al., No. 47645-2-II, Wash. App., Div. 2; 2016 Wash. App. LEXIS 1386).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Maryland federal judge did not err in finding that PNC Financial Services Group Inc. had priority of use of the "Spendology" trademark and that that priority of use bars a plaintiff's infringement action, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 13 (Keith A. Ashe v. PNC Financial Services Group Inc., No. 15-2566, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10669).
DETROIT - Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver on June 14 filed her answer to a lawsuit brought against her by the city's former administrator, arguing that she did not redirect funds earmarked for the Flint water crisis to her political action committee (PAC) and insisting that the lawsuit - which also alleges wrongful termination and violations of federal and state law protecting whistle-blowers - should be dismissed (Natasha Henderson v. City of Flint, Mich., et al., No. 16-11648, E.D. Mich.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a unanimous ruling written by Justice Elena Kagan, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 16 held that when deciding whether to award attorney fees to a prevailing party in a copyright action, district courts should give "substantial weight to the objective reasonableness of the losing party's position, while still taking into account all other" relevant circumstances (Supap Kirtsaeng, d/b/a Bluechristine99 v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375, U.S. Sup.).